Little Gem Magnolia

(Question)

Is there a miniature saucer magnolia available from a Canadian source? I have seen images of the Little Gem, but it seems more of a bush than the elegance of a magnolia tree.

thanks

(Answer)

‘Little Gem’ Magnolia – Magnolia grandiflora – is commonly known as a “Southern Magnolia” (evergreen), and after checking it’s hardiness rating, it looks like it might be marginal in Ontario, with it’s Northernmost range being the GTA. They are synonymous with the streets, parks and historic gardens of  the Southern United States such as Georgia, the Carolinas and the Virginias. It’s mature height is still in the roughly 20′ range, a pretty good sized tree.

Another group of dwarf magnolia crosses (Magnolia liliflora x stellata) called ‘Little Girls’,  (about 15′ tall), are considered a bit hardier than ‘Little Gem’:

You may be familiar with our native flowering dogwood, (Cornus florida), which is a small tree that puts on a beautiful Spring show of cream or pink coloured blossoms. It also has nice fall leaf colour. Carolina Silverbell (Halesia tetraptera)is another showy, native, Spring flowering tree, with pendulous white flowers.

http://ontariotrees.com/main/species.php?id=2035

http://www.nanps.org/index.php/gardening/plant-of-the-month/105-plant-of-the-month-silver-bell-

If you need something that stays very small (about 6-8′ at most), Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) is a native (and very hardy) option that offers pretty apple blossom like Spring flowers, nice sturdy leaves that turn a good fall colour, as well as black berries over the Summer.

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Aronia+melanocarpa